After leaving Caprock Canyons on the 6th, the last five days of my 1,300 mile journey from Wyoming to Texas wind to a close with little worth blogging about. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to get out and explore because I certainly have, but the weather is getting in my way. I’ve been hiding out in the Casita with all of the windows open reading because it’s been hot here in Texas. Often over 90 degrees hot, and that’s not comfortable for hiking and sightseeing when you’re traveling cheaply and don’t have ready access to a shower or air conditioning.
But I do have a problem that I’m hoping some of my more mechanically inclined readers might have an answer to.
On the 8th I had an appointment at the Casita Factory to get my electric stuff looked at. I didn’t mention this at the time, but when the service department replaced my water heater last April, they did something that messed up my battery charging. My battery died on the way to Wisconsin to drop Julie off and I quickly realized it wasn’t charging through shore power nor when towing.
A look inside revealed a green wire that wasn’t hooked up to anything and I thought that was the culprit. When I contacted Casita, I was given instructions on where to connect it but that still didn’t fix the problem, so then I made plans to bring Cas back in once I got back here to Texas. By April I’d already signed on for Amazon in Haslet so I knew I’d be back.
To make a long story short, I was at the factory a good five hours while the service team tried this and that. For a while, one of them tried telling me that the charger in my converter must be going bad and he found a few places around Fort Worth where I could get a replacement, but I was sure it had something to do with the water heater install since it worked just fine before that.
Then I overhear a conversation about a damaged ground wire, and a jump in output from 11.8 volts to 13.2 volts with it replaced. That sounds promising. The service guy who works the front end comes out and tells me to forget the converter charger, replacing that one wire fixed the problem.
Sadly I don’t have the right equipment to see if they really did fix the problem or not. Not without running my battery down considerably and then seeing if it charges back up on shore power, but I’m reluctant to do that just in case it isn’t fixed because it’ll damage the battery more than it already is and I don’t know anyone here with an external charger. My cheap little volt meter that plugs into the 12 volt socket reads 12.3 or 12.4 when I’m plugged into shore power and goes no higher, when I’m not plugged into shore power and not running anything electrical it sits at 12.2 usually. I’m not sure if that’s because of the existing damage to the battery (which there was, from running it dry then letting it sit for a week until I could get to my parent’s place last spring) or if things still aren’t charging right.
I’m reluctant to spend $90 on a new battery in case that isn’t the problem but also don’t want to invest in a gadget that can read the output from the converter as those aren’t cheap either. It’s a conundrum I’ll have to find an answer to before I leave here, because I’m absolutely going to need a working battery and charger if I’m going to go boondocking after this. If anyone has suggestions I’m all ears.
On Saturday (the 10th), I paid $7 to spend the day inside Lake Mineral Wells State Park just west of Fort Worth. The high was 88 that day and I still spent most of my time inside the Casita reading, but I did walk down to the lake and up to the campground to scope it out which is where the first four photos in this post come from. Mineral Wells offers fishing, hiking, boating, and swimming opportunities, and if I’d been able to get a camping spot (it was full up by the time I arrived) I probably would have partaken in more of them.
As it is, Mineral Wells isn’t too far from my new home base in Alvord and I may well go back for a visit while working at Amazon, once the weather cools down that is. As of yesterday (the 11th) I’m all moved in to my spot at A Plus RV Park. This was not my first campground choice as it’s 37 miles from the warehouse in Haslet, but again it’s the best I could do at the time after the first two campgrounds I made reservations at backed out of the program. I’m hoping to move closer to work as the season progresses, but for now it’ll do. At least I have a shower and air conditioning to combat the heat. Orientation is on the 14th, when I’ll get my finalized shift and job assignment. As soon as I know it, I’ll share it. In the meantime I’m going to relax and enjoy my last two days of freedom, because there won’t be much free time to be had once work starts. Have a good week all!
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